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10 Hot Spots to Visit in NYC's Chinatown

A look at Doyers Street and surrounding areas in Chinatown

There is a lot more to Doyers Street and its surrounding blocks than its notorious past. The elbow-shaped street is infamous as “the Bloody Angle,” a reference to early 20th-century gang wars, gambling and opium dens. Today, it is a cozy stretch with a burgeoning food scene and small, eclectic shops.

For dining choices, there are several stand-outs. The Good Sort is a Chinese-Australian vegan café. The sleek, intimate, 12-seat spot serves up coffees, teas, and housemade savory and sweet treats that include tumeric-coconut congee and chocolate-beet muffins. If you are in the mood for something a little more grand, Chinese Tuxedo is an upscale contemporary Chinese restaurant housed in the former Chinatown Opera House. Tempting dishes here include baby bass steamed with ginger, whole crispy skin squab and housemade egg noodles with pork floss.

Speaking of noodles, fans can't bypass Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, whose name says it all and serves its noodles in soups and stir-frys in a very popular but bare-bones setting. Finally, Nom Wah, open since the 1920s, is the area’s oldest family-run dim sum parlor (dim sum, roughly translated, means “a little bit of heart.”) and also has a great variety of Chinese teas.

Dim sum abound at restaurants such as Nom Wah Tea Parlor.
Dim sum abound at restaurants such as Nom Wah Tea Parlor. (©iStock)

If you are lookingfor something special to bring home, stop off at Ting’s Gift Shop. This cheerful spot beckons with bright, peeling red paint and a giant picture window of paper dragons and porcelain figures. Inside you can find artifacts from China, hand-carved chopsticks and Chinese toys for kids. And, at Baishi Beauty Salon, women and men can get a cut (and men a shave)... for cheap.

Looking for an unusual spot for a drink? You can enjoy healing cocktails at Apotheke, a cocktail bar/apothecary that infuses its concoctions with fruits and rooftop-garden herbs and also hosts cool cocktail events like Prohibition Wednesdays and Absinthe-Minded Sundays. At Pulqueria you can enjoy great Mexican food, a variety of tequilas and happy hour every Tu-F from 6-9 pm. 

There used to be an underground network of tunnels—used by feuding gang members to escape the violence—under Doyers Street, which has been called “that narrow little hyphen between Pell and the Bowery.” Venture to Pell Street, now, though, for the First Chinese Baptist Church, which hosts book readings, film screenings and more. Or turn on Mott Street to visit the Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center to play both vintage video games and modern consoles for hours of fun.